Application Hosting Solutions For Every Need01/31/2012
The Internet is as diverse as it is immense. It includes blogs, magazines, news sites, forums, wikis, fan pages, business sites, online stores, e-learning sites, kids’ sites, and just about any other kind of site you can imagine. Many of these websites, especially the smaller ones, are created using web applications. Web applications have many purposes and come in all shapes and sizes, but they have one thing in common: they are designed to facilitate the creation of a website by providing a ready-built structure that webmasters can use as the foundation of a new site.
Web applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and phpBB have contributed significantly to the development of the modern Internet. Millions of sites are built on these platforms, and every day, hundreds of thousands more go online. The huge demand for application hosting has spurred an impressive growth in the hosting industry as more and more companies compete to provide solutions for application web hosting. Today, most hosting providers offer some type of application hosting. But in most cases, hosting companies don’t provide specialized services, such as specialized blog hosting or forum hosting services. Typically, customers get generic solutions that they can use for application hosting but are not actually designed from the ground up for a specific application.
In this article, we go through the most important types of application hosting solutions, including blog hosting, CMS hosting, ecommerce hosting, forum hosting, and others. We explore why it’s important to choose a dedicated application hosting solution as opposed to a generic hosting plan. We also go over the features that should not be absent from a specific application hosting solution so that you can make an educated choice when you select the hosting plan for your blog, business site, or discussion board.
Blog hosting solutions
Unless you have a popular blog with thousands of daily visitors (and if you do, congratulations!), you will not need a super-powerful application hosting solution for your blog. This does not mean that you should use just any dirt-cheap hosting plan to host your blog. However, any server with decent specifications should be powerful enough to provide a smooth browsing experience to your followers. Make sure you choose a provider that has blogging software experts on-staff who can offer you quality support if needed.
Most application hosting services provide support for the most popular blogging applications, such as WordPress, MovableType, and b2evolution. WordPress is, indisputably, the current “king” of blogging platforms, accounting for a large percentage of all new blog installations worldwide. However, you can choose whichever blogging app you prefer, as long as you find a hosting service that supports it. Moreover, if you choose a reputable application hosting company, you can find dedicated hosting plans for lesser-known blogging software, such as Nucleus, Textpattern, Habari, and Nibble Blog.
WordPress hosting services
We’ve discussed WordPress application hosting in regards to blogging, but WordPress is so versatile and powerful that people use it for all sorts of hosting types, in addition to blogging. For example, you can use WordPress as a full-fledged CMS, a forum platform, an ecommerce solution, and for many other uses. There is so little you can’t do with WordPress that we think it deserves a section of its own in our review of application hosting solutions.
Why should you get a specialized WordPress hosting plan instead of a run-of-the-mill plan? With an application plan designed for WordPress, you have the certainty that the hosting environment is fine-tuned for working with WordPress. A well-oiled WordPress host will let you squeeze every last drop of performance from your hosting environment, meaning that you will be able to make sizable savings when you provision resources.
If you plan to use WordPress as a framework for a high-maintenance application, such as an online store or a business site, we highly recommend that you use a dedicated application web hosting service that includes competent, round-the-clock support. With a good WordPress hosting plan, you can also benefit from some freebies, including free installation, free themes, or free upgrades. Especially if you are not a techie, these free services can help you save a lot of money.
CMS hosting plans
A content management system (CMS) is a framework that allows easy content creation and separates content creation from the design and programming side of creating a website. In layman’s terms, a CMS lets you add stuff to your site without breaking it.
CMSs have diverse technical and resource requirements. Most popular CMSs, including the market leaders Joomla and Drupal, are built on the open source PHP/MySQL platform. With some modifications, WordPress can also be used successfully as a CMS. When you select an application hosting provider to host a CMS, make sure that the company supports the versions of PHP and MySQL that you need, as well as any other technical requirements that your CMS may have as generic plans may not include crucial features that can render your plan useless.
Forum application hosting
Forums are the perennial favorites of webmasters who want to create and grow vibrant communities. With forum application web hosting plans, it’s important to choose a solid server that can handle the stress created by multiple users using the discussion board at the same time. Poorly-configured forum application hosting solutions (even those that provide plenty of horsepower under the hood) can perform below par under the pressure of real-world usage scenarios.
Make sure you invest in a quality application hosting provider. If you have proper support from a forum software expert, it will be much easier for you to tweak your server for optimal performance or to troubleshoot the hard-to-solve glitches that often appear when working with complex, database-driven applications such as discussion boards.
Social network application web hosts
How would you like to build the next Facebook? A great place to start would be a social networking web application such as Elgg, Dolphin, StatusNet, or eMeeting. Coupled with a good application hosting solution, these free social network building tools are ideal for creating any type of online community, from dating sites to fan clubs.
Just like forums, social networks require proper configuration and careful monitoring in order to function within parameters. An application web hosting solution specially created for a social network is usually recommended for such scenarios, especially if you need help with operations such as installation, module addition, upgrading, or transfers. The best application hosting providers will offer these services free of charge when you sign up for a hosting solution.
Ecommerce application web hosting
With ecommerce, it is especially important to ensure the availability and reliability of your site, 24/7. While blog visitors may forgive occasional errors and downtime, with shoppers, you must go the extra mile to ensure stability – which is only truly possible with a dedicated application web hosting plan.
Ecommerce platforms are very diverse, so the first step when choosing an ecommerce application hosting provider should be to ensure that the application host can accommodate your specific software. osCommerce hosting, Magento hosting, Ubercart hosting, Zen Cart hosting – there are many possibilities for you to choose from. Regardless of which type of ecommerce application hosting you choose, the ecommerce hosting solution should provide great support, payment gateway integration, SSL support, and proper security.
Choose from the most diverse range of application hosting solutions at Certified Hosting
Certified Hosting boasts a wide portfolio of high-performance application web hosting services. From blog hosting to social network hosting and video streaming, Certified Hosting provides complete solutions for application hosting at reasonable pricing. At Certified Hosting, you will find specialized solutions for all popular web applications – including WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and phpBB – but also for smaller, lesser-known solutions such as Habari, StatusNet, and MODx.
Certified Hosting employs highly skilled and experienced technicians who possess extensive knowledge of all forms of application hosting. In addition to the world-class support that is available round the clock, you also get free services for most applications in Certified Hosting’s catalog.